Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

by AVA News Service, July 25, 2016

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MONDAY BEGAN with a full-on Drug Task Force raid in the Peachland hills east of Highway 128. Non-drug property owners, among them families with small children, are very unhappy at the instability of their neighborhoods created by transient and, of course, armed growers. A midnight gun battle last month between would be dope thieves and the crew of a large-scale garden may have been the last straw for Peachland residents. "Get these people outtahere!" was the way one resident put it, and it is mos def a consensus opinion — there, here and everywhere.

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BERNIE SANDERS, the biggest political sell-out of our time, was shouted down by his own supporters today as he urged them to vote for Hillary Clinton. “We have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine,” he said, eliciting boos from his delegates this afternoon. As the shouting continued, he said, “Brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters. This is the real world that we live in.” Sanders fought tooth and nail to keep Clinton from getting the nomination. He endorsed her earlier this month at a rally in New Hampshire and spoke on her behalf Monday night at the Democratic National Convention. He has said that Trump “must not be president” and is directing his supporters to throw their weight behind Clinton to keep the Republican businessman out of the Oval Office.

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LEMONS MARKET in Philo is the latest victim of one of these ridiculous "undercover" tobacco stings, hence the store's hurry-up cover over tobacco products. The authorities find an underage but innately corrupt kid to trot in to a neighborhood market for a pack of cigarettes. If the harried clerk at the register sells the smokes to the innately corrupt kid, the whole store is put through a bureaucratic wringer. Meanwhile, every kid in the County has unimpeded access to marijuana and probably half of them regularly smoke it. Not to mention unimpeded underage access to Cheetos, Moon Pies, Little Debbies, Fox News, and potato chips.

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ON THE SUBJECT of our nation's future, how annoying is the ubiquitous thump-thump of big bass "music"? Morning to night in downtown Boonville, and often into the night. Something about its monotony seems to soothe the moronic breast. Of course it's also low-level aggression, undifferentiated, about which nothing can be done. Check that: Deputy Squires one glorious day many years before he retired simply opened the trunk of a rolling nuisance, ripped the guy's entire sound system out, and drove off with it.

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EUGENIA HERR WRITES: "I have been away for several months due to Richard's illness which required being close to various medical facilities. We have been home now for some time and have help in the house. Since this has been a new and difficult learning experience, I thought it might be good to pass some information on regarding this part of Aging in Place.

"WE HAVE FOUND an excellent agency that provides In-Home Care in Anderson Valley. Called Sequoia Senior Solutions, they serve Mendocino, Lake, Marin, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties. When we first got home, we needed help round the clock. Now we have help for 10 hours a day, and will reduce that to 8 hours soon. The personnel who have worked for us are all competent, some are fantastic. They provide supervisory companionship, meal planning and prep, transportation, run errands, light housekeeping, and help with personal care such as bathing and grooming. They are not certified medical personnel, but our helpers do verbal guidance and demonstration of necessary physical, occupational, and speech and swallowing therapy.

"YOU CAN REACH the Ukiah office at 462-3227, for additional information about their interview and assessment process, or go on line to www.SequoiaSeniorSolutions.com. The Agency provides the vetting and scheduling of the employee, they pay the employee and handle all tax matters, they bill you for service and will provide time records to your physician…

"IMPROVED Senior care is one of the topics listed on the Anderson Valley Health Center's strategic plan. To find out what they have discussed, and what they intend, call your closest Board member or Kathy Cox who I believe chairs that committee effort. http://www.avhc.org/about/the-board/ "

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DAVE EVANS at the Navarro Store is looking for an experienced grill man. Dave stresses "experienced and personable grill man" to replace the experienced and personable Guy Kephart, who is now working full time as a glazier out of Ukiah. The multi-faceted Mr. K is hard pressed to do both.

THE EBULLIENT PROPRIETOR of the Navarro Store is also of course the gifted impresario who brings top drawer music performers to his stage under the redwoods. When I talked with him Monday morning, Dave could barely contain his enthusiasm for the August appearance of the legendary guitarist, Randy Hansen, described everywhere as "the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix." Dave exclaimed, "People are already calling me about Randy. They can't believe he's coming to Navarro." We're a couple of weeks away, but tickets are already on sale at 895-9444.

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NEITHER OF ANDERSON VALLEY UNIFIED'S new principals have yet to be confirmed by the School Board, but rubber stamps are poised while I say, preliminarily, "Wow!" And, "These two hires promise to make school business more interesting than it's been since the Wobbling Eagle regime."

OUR likely new Elementary School Principal was briefly famous a few years ago for an obituary she wrote in the Reno Gazette-Journal for her mother. Let's say most moms aren't remembered in quite the same way. I must say I admire the lady's prose style, and how often can you say a school bureaucrat even has a style? I sure hope Ms. Katherine Reddick is confirmed as Elementary School principal.

THE UNCONFIRMED new principal for Boonville High School is Keri St. Joer. He seems to be about 60 and, according to his Facebook and LinkedIn pages, a political brother. (Yeah, yeah. Takes one to know one. Our guy grew up in the Modesto area of Stanislaus County. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1980 where he studied political science and Spanish. After a few teaching jobs he settled for 12 years as the Spanish teacher at Antelope Valley Union High School in northern LA County. He was a school administrator and principal in Alaska from 2009-13. For two years (2013-15) after that he was the principal at Frazier High School in the El Tejon USD — south of Bakersfield. (The town was 20% Hispanic.) Last year he was the Assistant Principal at South San Francisco High School, with a student body of 1500 of which 52% were Hispanic.

(CAN WE ASSUME both new hires speak Spanish?)

ST. JOER is an admirer of crypto-fascist Anne Coulter and, in 2012, he wrote of abortion: "This is really just an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions. A woman always has a choice. She can choose to sleep with a man or not. Once she makes the choice to sleep with him, now she wants to avoid the consequences of that choice," adding, "the same thing can be said of AIDS. They want to choose to live a promiscuous lifestyle but avoid the consequences of that choice.”

PLUNK this guy down in the big vat of impenetrably smug lib-labism in which all of Mendocino County floats, especially its school people, and by golly I hope St. Joer gets hired, too.

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BEAR ALERT

Bear sighted 3.6 miles out Comptche Ukiah Road.

To see a game cam picture of a bear taken 3.6 miles east of coast on south side of Comptche Ukiah Road check out www.pygmy-forest.com/bear.jpg. This was taken at the same location as last month’s mountain lion sighting. Busy neighborhood here.

bear

(post on MCN Listserve by Joshua)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 25, 2016

Black, Brockway, Cook

Black, Brockway, Cook

AARON BLACK, Ukiah. Elder abuse, battery, criminal threats, probation revocation.

ROBERT BROCKWAY III, Albion. Probation revocation.

THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Diaz, Fleck, Green, Guzman-Olvera

Diaz, Fleck, Green, Guzman-Olvera

JESSICA DIAZ, Ukiah. DUI-drugs, under influence.

ADAM FLECK, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

WILLIAM GREEN, Redwood Valley. Domestic assault.

JUAN GUZMAN-OLVERA, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Henry, Lopez,Russell

Henry, Lopez,Russell

TAWANA HENRY, Branscomb. Failure to appear.

JUAN LOPEZ, Willits. Suspended license, evasion, resisting, parole violation, probation revocation.

JAMES RUSSELL II, Ukiah. DUI, Controlled substance, paraphernalia, suspended license.

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CHICAGO ‘68

by Fred Gardner

Ramparts68In the spring of ’68 I’d been hired as an editor at Ramparts magazine. The office was on Broadway off Sansome Street in San Francisco. One day in early summer Tom Hayden called and asked me to come to Chicago to put out an internal newsletter for the anti-war activists coming to protest at the Democratic National Convention. What Tom had in mind, as I recall, was a mimeographed map telling people where to go the next day.

I went to Warren Hinckle and asked for a week off to do the newsletter in Chicago. Without skipping a beat he said, "Do it for Ramparts! We'll call it The Ramparts Wallposter!" [Political wallposters were going up all over China at the time, part of the "cultural revolution."] One side would be news for the demonstrators, Warren declared, the other would be news from inside the convention hall. Ramparts would pick up the tab.

Warren Hinckle had real creative vision as a publisher and, when he had money, he was generous and willing to take chances. Ramparts was a hell of a magazine.

I spent two weeks in Chicago making arrangements for a newsroom (second floor of a YMCA near Division St.) typesetting (Shorey) and printing (Hinckle suggested Playboy's printers, but they were about to go on strike). I started doing speed, which increased my efficiency no end. David Cantor, a middle-aged businessman/peace activist from Chicago, told me where to go and what to do. A college student named Huntley Barad recruited a distribution staff. I bought an old Peugot 403 with a sunroof for $250 (through a want ad) and as I drove it through the South Side Jackie DeShannon was singing "Pulled into Nazareth, I was feelin bout half past dead..." Joe Russin, the producer of KQED's "Newsroom" show, and Elinor Langer, then with Science Magazine, came to town to edit the thing. All the movement-oriented writers found the Wallposter office and offered their services.

The Wallposter was a single full-folio sheet (36' x 24). The first issue, dated Saturday, August 24, has a page-one story entitled "Busts Begin" describing how the police shot and killed 17-year-old Dean Johnson, a full-blooded Sioux Indian from Sioux Falls, South Dakota (after he pulled a gun on them and fired first). There is a story about Jerry Rubin, Phil Ochs and five others getting detained for disorderly conduct after they held a nominating convention for the Yippie candidate, a pig, under the Picasso statue in Civic Center Plaza. There is a map of Chicago and a key to the headquarters of various "movement" entities. On the back page is a column by Hayden entitled "The Reason Why." It clearly states his tactical thinking: "Our victory lies in progressively de-mystifying a false democracy, showing the organized violence underneath reformism and manipulation." There are other articles by Paul Krassner, Arthur Waskow (alternate delegate from the district of Columbia), an interview with Phil Ochs, and a gossip column called "The Caucus Reporter."

Wallposter Two has a huge photo of the great basketball player, Cazzie Russell, in his National Guard uniform. PFC Russell's unit had been activated and Jeff Blankfort took a great photo of him, holding a Military Policeman's helmet in his hand, looking not too happy at the whole situation. The caption said "Cazzie Russell Playing Guard." The lead story ("Special to the Wallposter" via a phone call from the GI Coffeehouse in Killeen, Texas) described how more than 160 black soldiers from Fort Hood had refused to take part in riot-control operations in Chicago. Some 43 were being held in the Fort Hood stockade.

The map had three locations keyed: The Conrad Hilton Hotel, the Palmer House and the Sherman House. "There will be demonstration in three key hotels in the Loop today to protest against the war, racism and the politics of manipulation. The demonstrations will begin at 2 p.m..." The back page had another column by Hayden ("The Machine can be stopped"), another lively Caucus Reporter, and stories by Waskow, Krassner, Peter Weiss (a lefty lawyer from New York who was a McCarthy delegate), Chris Hobson (about a wildcat strike by Chicago bus drivers), Lee Webb, Adam Hochschild (longtime publisher of Mother Jones), Paul Cowan and the great Marvin Garson ("Troops Smoke Pot, Yippies go without").

As the protests outside the convention became the major news story of the moment (thanks to Mayor Daley's over-reaction), Warren Hinckle and Ramparts editor Bob Scheer jumped on a plane for Chicago. These young men, who had not been planning to attend, flew first-class. They rented a suite in the Ambassador Hotel, and proceeded to spend $10,000 partying over the course of the next few days. Hinckle phoned me at the Wallposter office when we were in production with Wallposter Three. "Stop the Presses!" he bellowed cheerfully. He had the biggest story of the year.

Lyndon Johnson had decided to run after all!

Warren had it from somebody he'd met at the bar in the Pump Room, the fancy restaurant at the Ambassador. He was writing it up and wanted to run it as our lead story. I said I'd come get it, thinking it sounded very far-fetched and that I could talk him out of it when the time came. I parked outside the hotel and was on my way in when a brown Rolls Royce pulled up and from it, wearing a chocolate-colored suit, with brown pumps and white spats on his feet, emerged Colonel Harlan Sanders. I didn't know that there really was such a person, I thought it was a corporate logo. I stopped and stared. I wondered if I was having my first-ever "bad trip." Maybe the so-called speed people had given me contained some really strong hallucinogens.

On his way into the hotel, Colonel Sanders handed out dimes to the shoe-shine boys, just like they say John D. Rockefeller used to do.

That evening Hinckle got wind of the fact that we weren't planning to run his LBJ-to-run story. He came over to the Wallposter Office with a friend named Herb Williamson. "You're drunk, Warren. You'd be embarrassed if this thing ran. Go back to the hotel and get some sleep."

“I'm the boss!" he reminded me. There were lots of people around. It turned into a shoving match between me and Herb Williamson at the head of the stairs. I remember the glint of excitement in the eye of a young woman who was soon to become a Weatherman as she watched. I knew that violence in and of itself turned her on. I knew I was engaged in an absurd struggle in every respect.

The lead story of Wallposter Three was a toned-down version of the rumor Hinckle had heard, headlined "What's Marvin Watson doing for LBJ?" There was also an essay by Carl Oglesby evaluating Eugene McCarthy's candidacy, and some good Jeff Blankflort photos. The map had been put on page 2. My Ramparts career was history.

Add Memories

"Isn't it fantastic?" Hayden asked rhetorically Tuesday morning "Kids fighting for a park they hadn't even heard of two days ago. It means we can stage confrontations anytime, anywhere, just by challenging them for a piece of land." This strategic insight led to the creation of People's Park in Berkeley. For which people are still paying in blood.

In the Wallposter office Wednesday evening Tom made a tape urging people to cross the police line and confront the delegates in the Hilton. (He himself would not have been in the Hilton; the whole thing was "theater," to put it politely.) A young McCarthy worker was going to broadcast Tom's misleading battle cry from a room in the Hilton to the demonstrators massed in the park across Michigan Avenue. At the last minute he decided not to do it. It’s possible that people would have been killed.

Tom Hayden yelling "Remember Brother Rennie! Remember Brother Rennie!" to the crowd in Grant Park, as the police moved in. (Rennie, who had been clubbed in the head, was perfectly okay.)

After Chicago Hinckle went to New York, according to an editor named Sol Stern, where he visited Roy Cohn's yacht. His introduction to the sleazy right-wing lawyer had been made by Sidney Zion, who thought Cohn could devise a superior tax dodge for Ramparts, and might also help with fund-raising. Hinckle told Cohn how the magazine went after liberals and CPers. I don't think Cohn came through, however. By late '68 circulation had flattened out and Ramparts was losing money (due mainly to lavish editorial and production costs). Hinckle had even given up the title of publisher to a nice guy from Kansas named Fred Mitchell, in exchange for an infusion of cash.

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FrigRunning

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DOUBLING DOWN ON WALL STREET: HILLARY & TIM KAINE

by William K. Black

By picking Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton has revealed her true preferences and shown that her move to the left on policy issues during the primaries was simply a tactical move to defeat Bernie Sanders. It’s not what you say, it’s what you do.

Clinton can talk about caring about the U.S. public, but this choice cuts through the rhetoric. The two politicians to whom she gave serious consideration to choosing as her running mates were Kaine and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. What both men share in common is, like the Clintons, being leaders of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). The DLC was, on economic and foreign policy issues, a servile creature of Wall Street – funded by Wall Street.

As Tom Frank’s new book Listen, Liberal documents, the DLC vilified the New Deal, financial and safety regulation, organized labor, the working class, opponents of militarism, opponents of the disastrous trade deals that were actually backdoor assaults on effective health, safety, and financial regulation, and the progressive base of the Democratic Party. The DLC leadership, which included President Clinton and Vice President Gore, entered into a series of cynical bipartisan deals with the worst elements of the Republican Party, Alan Greenspan, and Wall Street elites that:

* Destroyed Glass-Steagall

* Created a massive regulatory “black hole” in financial derivatives that Enron and later the world’s largest banks exploited to run their fraud schemes that drove the Enron-era fraud scandals and the Great Recession

* Drove Brooksley Born from government because she warned about these derivatives and sought to protect us from the coming disaster

* Cut the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) staff by over three-quarters, destroying effective supervision of banks

* Cut the Office of Thrift Supervision’s (OTS) staff by over half, destroying effective supervision of savings and loans such as Countrywide, Washington Mutual (WaMu) – which became the largest “bank” failure in U.S. history, and IndyMac. OTS was also supposed to regulate aspects of AIG and Lehman, but had no capacity to do so given the massive staff cuts and its deliberately useless regulatory leaders chosen by Clinton and Bush

Kaine — like Hillary Clinton – has embraced for decades the DLC/’New Democrats’ agenda — meaning they are allies of Wall Street. They embrace a neo-liberal, pro corporate outlook that has done incredible damage to the vast majority of Americans.

Kaine is actively pushing to weaken already grossly inadequate financial regulation and pushing to adopt the indefensible “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP). By choosing Kaine, Hillary Clinton is signaling that her new-found support for financial regulation and opposition to TPP is a tactical ploy to win the nomination before she “pivots” back to the disastrous policies that she, Kaine, and Vilsack have helped inflict on the world for decades. She is playing into Trump’s claims that she is not honest.

What’s especially noteworthy is that Hillary Clinton and Kaine are carrying Wall Street’s water while the Republican party is repudiating some of these policies. The Republican Party platform (cynically) calls for reinstating Glass Steagall and Donald Trump has called for the defeat of TPP in an equally cynical fashion. The self-described liberals – the Clintons, Kaine, and Paul Krugman are against reinstating Glass-Steagall.

This shows Hillary Clinton hasn’t learned a thing from the failed pro-Wall Street policies that have wrecked the economy. It’s bad politics and it’s bad policy. Actually, that’s not quite right. These policies have worked brilliantly for the top 1/1000th of one percent. They have been disastrous for nearly everyone else in the U.S. — and around the world. As Senator Warren says, “the financial system is rigged.” As an attorney, professor of economics, serial whistleblower, former financial regulator, and white-collar criminologist, I can explain exactly how the DLC and their Republican allies, both of which were traditionally funded by and servants of Wall Street, rigged the system. You can be sure that people like me who have demonstrated their ability and willingness to destroy the rigged system in order to regulate and prosecute financial elites and their political cronies will never be appointed by a Clinton/Kaine administration.

And that’s just the finance. On the economics, the choice of Kaine signals that Hillary Clinton is openly returning to her life-long embrace of the economic malpractice of austerity. Recall, that Bill Clinton tried, in league with Newt Gingrich, to largely privatize Social Security. That is Wall Street’s greatest dream. The only reason it didn’t happen is that the Republican rebels asked for too much and that scuttled the deal that Bill Clinton was making with the Republican congress. The same thing happened when the Tea Party sank President Obama’s efforts to reach a “Grand Bargain” with the Republicans to adopt austerity and make cuts to the safety net.

The leadership of the now defunct DLC continue to applaud the cuts they made to Social Security and the oxymoron they called “welfare reform” that has brought so much misery to poor mothers. The preposterous lie that, working with President Reagan they “saved Social Security” is repeated daily on the intro to an MSNBC program.

Even though it would be good politics as well as policy for Hillary Clinton to break with the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party and choose a VP from the Democratic-wing of the Party, she refuses to even pretend that she gave serious consideration to choosing a progressive as her running point. Democrats should take a lesson from economics and focus on this clear case of “revealed preferences.” She is telling us that she intends to ensure that should she be elected and unable to complete her term of office she can be confident that her successor will continue the DLC’s disastrous agenda.

(William K. Black is an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A former bank regulator who led investigations of the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, he is the author of the book The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.)

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THE ODIOUS VS. THE TEDIOUS

by James Kunstler

You thought the Republican convention was a ghastly spectacle of royal Trumpery (and Iago-style backstabbing featuring the arch-asshole Ted Cruz)? Now comes the Democratic Annunciation of I’m-With-Her-It’s-My-Turn, the incarnation of crony corruption in our late-state Republic of Racketeering. Remember that old movie, The Exorcist, with its demonic spewage of projectile vomit. Expect something like that on the grand scale in Philadelphia this week as the Exalted-Breaker-of-Glass-Ceilings steps forth to accept her victory tiara.

The New York Times is blaming the Ruskies for releasing those thousands of new emails disclosing the perfidy of the Democratic National Committee staff in pimping for Hillary against Bernie and trafficking with the major network news operations to manage and spin things Her way — and especially to rig the electoral machinery against Sanders. How much will his supporters Feel the Bern this week in Philly as the party attempts to put on an appearance of unity (Ha!) behind HRC? How can it conceivably be possible now for Bernie to stand by her side for the crucial unity photo op? I suspect he’d rather chew his right arm off.

For my money, the Ruskies should get the Nobel Peace Prize if they were behind the email release. What higher service to democracy than to expose the anti-democratic workings of the party that affects to call itself Democratic? The sudden appearance of 20,000 smoking guns made party chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz vamoose faster than you can say Debbie Wasserman Schultz, though her replacement, Donna Brazile is every inch just another blatant HRC foot-soldier. Perhaps she’ll have to orchestrate the proceedings with smoke signals or invisible ink instead of emails.

As the conventions rolled out, the aggregate miasma we call the news industry resorted to that tired trope of Optimism Versus Pessimism. Translation: you can’t handle the truth so somebody please bring out the rainbow-leaping unicorns. The American zeitgeist is a tattered garment worn by a three hundred pound tranny in a diabetic coma. It’s probably beyond salvation at this point. Somebody please put it out of its misery. Hence: Trump Versus Hillary, the odious versus the tedious, the election to end all elections.

I derived scant enlightenment listening to the Republican nominee Trump’splainin’ just how he will make America great again. As sheer oratory, Trump made Warren G. Harding look like Pericles. “I am your voice,” he bellowed to the assembled delegates dressed in costumes that made them appear like rodeo clowns from another planet. And that speech was carefully crafted by supposed professionals and mounted on a teleprompter. Now Trump will go forth speaking in his usual incoherent vernacular as he vies to become the first president removed by a military coup d’état for blundering incompetence.

Hillary countered by showboating her vice-presidential pick, Tim Kaine of Virginia, America’s new high school Spanish teacher. I was only surprised that she didn’t choose Lebron James. Ambition called and Tim Kaine answered and you wonder just how he will regret picking up the phone as the campaign heats up and he has to Kaine’splain the growing allegations of Hillary’s misdeeds. Can a running mate up and quit before the election? It’s never happened before.* But Kaine might be concerned about his reputation.

So, gird your loins for the awful pageantry of the week to come: kind of a road company version of The Manchurian Candidate. The election is now between the borderline personality Mommy and the arch-narcissist Daddy for the hearts and minds of a public sore beset by the initial spasms of economic and cultural collapse. Perhaps Big Brother is waiting in the wings.

*A reader reminds me that George McGovern’s running mate in 1972, Sen. Tom Eagleton of Missouri, stepped aside when it became public that he’d been hospitalized for mental illness earlier in life and subjected to electroshock therapy. My bad.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)

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BEST ONE PARA ASSESSMENT OF THE STATE OF THE NATION

As the conventions rolled out, the aggregate miasma we call the news industry resorted to that tired trope of Optimism Versus Pessimism. Translation: you can’t handle the truth so somebody please bring out the rainbow-leaping unicorns. The American zeitgeist is a tattered garment worn by a three hundred pound tranny in a diabetic coma. It’s probably beyond salvation at this point. Somebody please put it out of its misery. Hence: Trump Versus Hillary, the odious versus the tedious, the election to end all elections.

— James Kunstler

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Maybe I’ve just become accustomed to the times or numb to them, but I was pretty disappointed by the ‘chaos’ of the Republican convention. Everyone was predicting chaos, including our host here. But nothing happened. All these yahoos carrying assault rifles of various sorts and no running gun battles in the streets of Cleveland? No mass shootings for the sake of Liberty, or God, or Allah or whatever…. pretty boring convention. Maybe the dingbats outside the Democratic convention will sex things up a bit to juice the ratings for the cable ‘news’ networks.

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UPCOMING EVENTS HAPPENING AT THE UKIAH LIBRARY.

www.mendolibrary.org

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WATER CONTRACTORS LAUNCH ANOTHER ATTACK ON STRIPED BASS, BLACK BASS

by Dan Bacher

Agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies have launched a new attack in their campaign to eradicate striped bass as they scapegoat the popular gamefish for salmon and Delta smelt declines caused by decades of water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Dleta.

The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, the Astroturf group bankrolled by Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon Stewart Resnick, on June 9 submitted a new petition to the California Fish and Game Commission to raise the bag limit and reduce the size limit on striped bass in an attempt to reduce their population. This time they’ve added black bass as a so-called “predator” to their petition.

The “Coalition” is joined by a who’s who of the state’s agribusiness, water agency and corporate interests, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, Southern California Water Committee, State Water Contractors, Western Growers Association, California Farm Bureau Federation, Northern California Water Association and Kern County Water Agency.

When the water contractors last tried to eradicate striped bass by slashing the size limit and increasing the bag limit, anglers were able to defeat their proposal with a large showing of people at the February 2012 Fish and Game Commission meeting after Fish Sniffer Editor Cal Kellogg and I helped organize a campaign mobilizing over 450 anglers to show up for a CDFW meeting on the issue in Rio Vista in November 2011.

Coalition for a Sustainable Delta spokesman Michael Boccadoro, the president of the Dolphin Group, claimed the purpose of the petition is to “help preserve” Sacramento River Chinook salmon and Delta smelt.

“California families, businesses and farms have sacrificed considerably during this drought to provide water to help preserve salmon and smelt,” Boccadoro stated. “Modifying size and bag limits for striped bass is an important next step to better protect and begin restoring these endangered species. It is clear that more needs to be done to halt the continuing declines.”

The proposed changes would increase the bag limits and decrease the size limits for black bass and striped bass in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and rivers tributary to the Delta, according to Boccadoro.

The black bass size limit would be decreased from 12 inches to 8 inches and the daily bag limit would be increased from 5 fish to 10 fish.

The striped bass size limit would be decreased from 18 inches to 12 inches and the daily bag limit would be increased from 2 fish to 6 fish.

The Coalition also criticized state regulators for focusing on increased flows and water pumping restrictions while “predation by non-native species has gone largely unaddressed.”

Anglers oppose the proposal because they say it will reduce the population of stripers and black bass and not address the real causes of salmon, Delta smelt and other fish declines – water diversions, overpumping and mismanagement by the state and federal governments.

Dave Hurley of the Allied Fishing Groups explained the gravity of the matter in an action alert to anglers. “Those wanting to blame introduced species for the water contractors’ sins of overpumping the Delta are back on another attack on species that have co-existed in the Delta for over 100 years,” said Hurley.

The petition will be addressed at the California Fish and Game Commission meeting on Aug 24-25 at the Lake Natoma Inn and Conference Center, 702 Gold Lake Dr. Folsom Ca 95630.

The agenda for the meeting has not been posted yet, but will be posted soon at: http://fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2016/index.aspx

Prominent scientists disagree strongly with the contention of Boccadaro and the water contractors that the proposed regulations would “help protect” endangered salmon and smelt, pointing out the lack of any peer-reviewed science backing this claim.

“There is NO new peer-reviewed science that would change anything regarding this issue from the last time they tried the regulation change until now,” said David J. Ostrach Ph.D., Chief Scientist of Ostrach Consulting. “There has been some special interest group directed ‘studies’ by the water contractors and their allies, most of which are bogus or focus on hot spots and then expand that notion to the entire estuary e.g. if they’re eating them in mass at the hotspots there eating them everywhere.”

“Most importantly. predation at hot spots and throughout the Delta has not been shown to affect population levels of salmon or endangered species; it is a lower-level stressor. The biggest predators known to affect population levels of endangered species in the system are the state and federal water project pumping operations, where it’s clearly documented that they’ve killed tens of millions of endangered salmon, Delta smelt, striped bass and any other fish that enters Clifton Court Forebay,” said Ostrach.

In fact, Ostrach points out that Dr. Sean Hayes, NOAA’s lead scientist on this topic, made a 45 minute presentation to the State Water Resources Control Board concluding that removing striped bass and other predators from the system would likely not only do no good, but could potentially cause serious harm to endangered species and the ecosystem.

“So the federal agency’s own scientists working on this problem have come to this conclusion, yet his words are twisted to suit the needs of the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta and others,” said Ostrach.

Ostrach emphasized that if the Commission does change the regulations so that smaller striped bass are being caught and kept, it would likely cause a decrease in striped bass predation on other fish more dangerous to the endangered species such as the inland silverside.

“If you remove young (up to 3-4-year-old) striped bass by fishing or otherwise reduce their numbers, then the silverside population would increase,” said Ostrach. “The silversides are direct competitors with salmon smolts for the same food sources, and they also are known to eat Delta smelt larvae, juveniles and eggs. This is just one example of how trying to perturb an ecosystem already in collapse would likely make things much worse rather than do anything better,” he said.

A UC Davis study released in May confirms Ostrach’s argument. The study, “Understanding predation impacts on Delta native fishes,” written by Peter Moyle, Andrew Sih, Anna Steel, Carson Jeffres, William Bennett, asked the question: Will endangered fishes, such as Chinook salmon, delta smelt, and longfin smelt, benefit from control of predators, especially of striped bass? (californiawaterblog.com/…)

After a review of the scientific literature and research, their conclusion was “unlikely.”

“It seems unlikely that a large-scale predator removal program focused on striped bass would have a sustainable, measurable effect on populations of its prey species, specifically protected smelts and salmon,” the scientists concluded.

Like Ostrach, they pointed out that predator control can have unintended consequences, including potentially adversely impacting endangered native species.

“For example, reducing striped bass populations might cause an increase in important prey species, such as Mississippi silverside, that prey on delta smelt eggs and larvae. In other words, controlling striped bass may backfire and increase predation on delta smelt,” they wrote.

“Striped bass get blamed for declines of native fishes because they are an abundant, voracious, non-native predator. Yet striped bass have been part of the Delta ecosystem for nearly 150 years, plenty of time for co-adaptation of predator and prey. In periods when delta smelt, longfin smelt, and salmon were abundant in the past, striped bass were much more abundant than they are today, suggesting that the same factors that drive native fish declines are also driving striped bass populations,” the scientists said.

Dr. Ostrach described the petition as “just another diversion by the water contractors and their allies to focus attention on predation rather than the real cause of the demise of the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem – mismanaging the water such that we have an environment very much similar to an Arkansas lake where things like egeria /water hyacinth and freshwater species like smallmouth bass largemouth bass can thrive and is not conducive to survival of plants and animals that live in an estuary.”

“The key to stabilizing the Delta would be to restore habitat, restore the appropriate flows to the river system, and in the case of hot spots, reengineer those places that have created a haven for predators rather than trying to do things that simply won’t work like removing the predators and taking them to lakes and out of the system,” he said.

“Don’t blame the fish – blame the structures in engineering and the way they are managed,” he concluded.

The composition of the Fish and Game Commission has changed dramatically since they last addressed this issue – and turned down a petition by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), under pressure by the water contractors, to increase striped bass bag bag limits and decrease size limits. Only one Commissioner – Jacque Carmenin Hostler- has been on the Commission for over two years.

Even more troubling, the two newest Commissioners, Russell Burns of Napa and Peter Silva of Chula Vista, work for or have worked for groups pushing Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels plan, a water grab by the same water contractors that have proposed changing the limits on stripers and black bass.

Burns works as business manager at Operating Engineers Local Union 3, a supporter of the California WaterFix, while Silva served as senior policy advisor at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the sponsors of the petition and one of the leading backers of the Delta Tunnels.

As the water contractors submit their petition, the numbers of Delta smelt, once the most abundant fish in the estuary, have plummeted to a new low, according to this spring’s CDFW smelt survey. Only thirteen adult Delta Smelt were collected at 8 stations contributing to the index in 2016.

The Delta smelt collapse is part of an overall ecosystem decline driven by water diversions by the federal and state water projects. The CDFW’s 2015 Fall Midwater Trawl demonstrates that, since 1967, populations of striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad have declined by 99.7, 98.3, 99.9, 97.7, 98.5 and 93.7 percent, respectively, according to Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).

The California Striped Bass Association (CSPA) has posted an on line petition to the Fish and Game Commission opposing the Coalition’ s proposal. Their petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/california-fish-and-game-commission-save-the-delta-fisheries.

Stewart Resnick, the billionaire funder of the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta Astroturf group, is the co-owner with his wife, Lynda, of The Wonderful Company, the largest grower of orchard fruit in the world. For more information about the Resnicks and their connections with the University of California system, read my piece, “The story that disgraced UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi didn’t want you to read,” at: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/05/22/1529480/-The-story-that-disgraced-UCD-Chancellor-Linda-Katehi-didn-t-want-you-to-read

* * *

DANCIN’ AT THE APOCALYPSE

Editor,

I just read your posts with interest, as I am a working Deejay who loves to make folks DANCE.

I had a wonderful gig Saturday night at Angelina's Bar (the old Tradewinds) in Ft. Bragg. There were mostly Latino people there, and a few Dancing Queens too (thank you for coming Rebecca!), and the place was swingin', jumpin' and rockin'! Give Thanks!

It was a really fun night and the love, drinks and food were flowing, with lots of dancers on the floor. Fun!

So, yes, having good venues for dances is very important, I agree. Consider Angelina's for a great, fun party, as I hope to play there again soon.

Please phone me if you want a Professional Deejay/Selector with The Best Music In Mendocino County, all styles, for all types of dancers and music lovers. I will rock the house, and am very reasonable. If it's a Benefit, I will probably play for food and drinks, and perhaps, a place to sleep, if it's far from me.

I Hope to hear from you soon.

Peace!

DJ Sister Yasmin, 707-884-4703

22 Responses to Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

  1. Susie de Castro Reply

    July 26, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Sanders –

    The Democratic Party is Stronger Together with Bernie Sanders

    “Full Speech Bernie Sanders at DNC. July 25, 2016. Democratic National Convention 2016. Philadelphia.” on YouTube
    https://youtu.be/V0tVD87cZew

  2. Keith Bramstedt Reply

    July 26, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Bernie Sanders: Maybe the next time a candidate who calls himself a socialist should not run in the corporate-dominated Democratic party but in an actual Socialist party, or at least a different party. Then again, Sanders wouldn’t have gotten any media attention if he’d done that this time.

  3. Craig Stehr Reply

    July 26, 2016 at 9:36 am

    In the real world, Bernie Sanders would have accepted Dr. Jill Stein’s invitation to join her on the Green Party ticket, and to hell with the Democratic neoliberals and their counterpart Republican delusionals. Accessing the real world appears to be more difficult than we knew. Fasten your seat belts, y’all. The future has just arrived! ;~0

    • Bruce McEwen Reply

      July 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      In the “real world” a couple of dogs would wait for a marraige license, Craig.

    • LouisBedrock Reply

      July 26, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Matthew Arnold described the real world very well in a poem most of us read in high school:

      “Ah, love, let us be true
      To one another! for the world, which seems
      To lie before us like a land of dreams,
      So various, so beautiful, so new,
      Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
      Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
      And we are here as on a darkling plain
      Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
      Where ignorant armies clash by night.”

      https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/43588

      Craig, your head is in the clouds.
      The world of the DNC is more real than yours.
      Unfortunately.

      • Craig Stehr Reply

        July 26, 2016 at 4:56 pm

        If anything, the world of the RNC is more real (i.e. graphic) than mine. The world of the DNC is like a kite whose string has been cut, blown about by the wind in search of a suitable cloud to rest upon, only to discover dissipation and constant change. On the other hand, my world lies in the fourth dimension, which has room for us all. Join me…it’s better here. FREE WINE ;-))))))))

        • Bruce McEwen Reply

          July 26, 2016 at 6:21 pm

          Hullo, Dimmmie — you don’t get it?

          It’s not Grecian irony I’m using; rather, the Augustan kind?

          Do you know the diff?

          Care?

          Never mind, here’s the deal:

          Go stick yr. head in the sand, and we’ll pretend you’ve attained Nirvana… Ooooommm….

          The 4th is a lovely dimension to escape to, birdie-boy,
          but we live and die in the 3rd. If you ever pull up your head up outta the sand, do be careful….!

          • Bruce McEwen Reply

            July 26, 2016 at 6:36 pm

            You sound like the fellow who broke his toe, kicking the block of stone saying (of the “real world”) “I refute it thus! — Ouch-ouch-ouch!

      • Bruce McEwen Reply

        July 26, 2016 at 4:58 pm

        that’s nearly as bad as Phil Larkin.

        Let’s operate on one of mine, if we’re going to dissect poems (BB Grace, passen zie auf!):

        Roadhouse Review

        I stopped in a restaurant out on the strip,
        Where smart people go to show that they’re hip.

        The food was bad but the service was mch worse,
        And the price of a biscuit nearly emptied my purse.

        The furniture was plain, unvarnished pine,
        Soiled and broken, as cheap as the wine.

        Yet the ambience of the place seemed awfully sublime
        Since the motif had no reason, rhythm or rhyme.

        The waiter was drunk, surly and rude;
        Obviously drunk and spattered with food.

        I wanted the meat but there was none to be had,
        And the fish, he said, had all gone bad.

        So I settled for a crust and a bowl of gruel,
        Which congealed with grease the moment it cooled.

        I pled for desserts but the house offered none,
        Except for a stale, moldy old bun…

        I thought a nice tip would give the waiter a lift,
        But he sneered at my money like he’d been stiffed!

        Still, I tendered my complements back to the chef
        And was curtly informed he’d long-since left.

        So I looked in the scullery, where the dish-
        washer dined, on the scraps and dredges,
        I’d left behind… Oh! He was filthy and
        vulgar, and wholly uncouth — he chomped on
        a bone and spat out a tooth! — then said,
        “Come back again, if ye feel so inclined.

        • BB Grace Reply

          July 26, 2016 at 6:32 pm

          • Bruce McEwen Reply

            July 26, 2016 at 6:43 pm

            compare this one…

            • BB Grace Reply

              July 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm

              Recently Princes have been popping up (Agaricus augustus), my favorite, which I slice thin and saute with nice oil and a little fresh minced garlic, chiffonade of kale to wilt and season with bragg’s liquid aminos.

              Need a great recipe for giant zucchini?
              Preheat oven 350
              Make 1/2″ slices on the diagonal of the zucchini
              spread mayonaise on each side and dredge in a mixture of half seasoned breadcrumbs and half parmesan cheese, bake half hour until golden brown and crispy. They’re hard to keep around to make a zucchini parmesan which many folks prefer to a eggplant parmesan once they try.

              Squash flowers are wonderful tempura style.

  4. Susie de Castro Reply

    July 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Refrigerater

    is spelled with an “O”, as in Refrigerator.

    • Bruce McEwen Reply

      July 26, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      you stupid, strutting pedant… is that the only thing you can come up with,a silly cavil out of a style book from a failed newspaper? Do you even know where that silly-assed spelling came from?

      No, madame, you don’t — otherwise you would have clamped your mouth shut and swallowed that smelly vowel, eh?

      • Susie de Castro Reply

        July 26, 2016 at 8:46 pm

        It’s Refrigerator, you fool! But don’t tell that to a fool, because he’ll call you foolish.

        “Flamenco Dance by Spanish Gypsies Part 1” on YouTube
        https://youtu.be/sLFH01qJT3k

        • Jeff Costello Reply

          July 27, 2016 at 4:04 pm

          Spelling nazi is a thankless occupation, I know this personally. I once tried to correct a headline in a small community newsletter, telling the “editor” that trevails was spelled travails. She became angry and indignant, suggesting that… what would a member of a rock & roll band know about English? It’s like telling someone they need a bath. I won a spelling bee on TV in 7th grade. No one cared.

          • BB Grace Reply

            July 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm

            Sure folks cared. I care now. You couldn’t have paid me a billion dollars to win a spelling bee. I took The American Heritage Dictionary with me to every class. One class in second grade the instruction was to write about something within a half hour. I couldn’t think how to spell “of”, nor could I think how to use phonics so I came to “uv”. Of course I received not just an “F”, as usual, but reminded that I need to practice spelling more, as if my Dad didn’t read everything with red and blue pencils. My spelling, dyslexia would blow his mind. None the less I depended on and paid editors to get me through college, and while there’s many things I would have liked to have tried to do, I didn’t because I feared being shamed for my spelling. I think all the arts are hurting, which English is one, and I hope that changes because people who can spell have a gift I appreciate the way someone with a broken leg might appreciate a ballet. You might even say that literature has become so sloppy only those gifted with the ability to edit care.

  5. LouisBedrock Reply

    July 27, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Enough goddamned videos!

    • Susie de Castro Reply

      July 27, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      You don’t have to play them. So, you’re looking for sympathy from the Board of Directors, so that we get reprimanded and you can have your way. Shameful!

      We have to put up with YOU and your opinions, your quotes, your translations, your criticisms, your views, your likes, dislikes, observations, what else?

      LIVE AND LET LIVE

    • BB Grace Reply

      July 27, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Very Special report: Jill Stein just a few hours ago speaking about DNC and Sanders

  6. Mike Reply

    July 29, 2016 at 8:55 am

    There is a mistaken impression conveyed here regarding non dual teachings and practices being somerhing that transports one’s head into the sand. That one is elevated to a glorious “somewhere else.”

    Not so.

    Read chapters here providing an overview of 4 well known non dual traditions:

    http://newsunwesternskies.com

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